(VOVworld)- The EU-Africa Summit opened in La Valleta, Malta, on Thursday, hoping to find a solution to the migrant crisis in Europe. Though a number of solutions have been proposed, the EU has failed so far to agree on an effective solution to this problem.
Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat receives leaders attending the EU-Africa summit (Photo: REUTERS).
28 EU countries have failed to keep their commitments to support migrants with financial aid and asylum. The refugee allocation program remains contentious among EU members. So far, EU countries have contributed just 500 million of the total 2.8 billion euros they promised to international organizations and refugee support funds.
The migrant wave to Europe keeps rising. According to the EU Border Control Agency, more than 900,000 migrants have arrived in Europe since the beginning of this year, 5 times more than last year.
Disputes over policies on migrants
In September, 28 EU members agreed on the allocation of refugee quotas. But all commitments remain on paper. Creating a mechanism to implement the agreement and control the refugee flow to Europe has been a major obstacle.
A number of meetings have been convened but the EU remains split on what is the best solution to the crisis. Many transit countries are ready to receive refugees, but the asylum seekers want to go to rich European countries with good social welfare benefits. Germany and a number of other central and northern European countries are preferred destinations. Last week, thousands of refugees tried to the cross Balkan countries in southeastern Europe to reach the north. In September, 250,000 refugees arrived in Europe via the Balkan countries. At that time, Hungary was overloaded and closed its borders with Serbia. But the refugees tried to cross Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia to get to Austria, Germany or other northern countries. The EU convened an extraordinary meeting to tighten the Balkan route to prevent the migrants from going to the north. Slovenia said it needs more support because it became overloaded after Hungary shut its borders with Serbia and Croatia. Hungary defended its border closures, saying it’s not part of the Balkan route but simply an observer. Hungary blamed the migrant crisis on Schengen countries’ not abiding by their commitment.
Failure to agree on action
European countries have failed to find an effective solution to the migrant crisis. Economic difficulties and cultural and religious differences are the major obstacles to receiving migrants.
Most of the migrants are Muslims coming from Syria or Africa. The migrants are likely to cause a lot of trouble in the countries they go to. Germany has received the largest number of migrants since the beginning of the year - more than half a million. But German people are regretting having received the migrants after clashes and conflicts the asylum seekers have caused. This regret is reflected in declining support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel - 49% - the lowest rate since early this year. The public have low expectations for the EU-Africa summit and are very concerned about the future of the EU.